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If i were a carpenter   Johnny Cash




Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 04:09:19 -0400



If I Were A Carpenter - Words & Music: Tim Hardin 

Transcribed by Sean Peever of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This version is by Johnny & June Carter Cash off of "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash", 1970
 
It was a big hit for them at the time, and, to me anyway, remains the definitive version.
I like Tim Hardin's and Bobby Darin's versions, but this song was just tailor-made for Johnny
& June.  I REALLY like the Small Faces' live version, where they just kick the ass out of the song.
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich also did a pretty good version.
 
I guess the reason why this song was covered so often is because, like The Dark End Of The Street 
or Long Black Veil, it's just so good it's impossible to screw it up!
 

-----------------------------------------------------------------
 
NOTES :
 
- The song is in the key of A and has at least 2 (or 3 - if Johnny was playing basic rhythm on the recording) 
  guitar parts. Bob Wootton's electric guitar and Norman Blake(?)'s acoustic picking.
 
- The primary lead electric riffs by Bob Wootton are centred around the open A, G, D chord shapes.
 
     A          G          D         A           
 
----------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------
-------2--2-------0--0-------2--2------2--2---
---------2----------0------0---0---------2----
-----0-------------------------------0--------
----------------3-----------------------------

- I believe that the rhythm parts sound best with a capo on the 2nd fret playing the G, F, C chord shapes.
  Except for Bob Wootton's electric parts detailed above, this is how i've written out this transcription


- The ` indicates that you "pull-off" the note.
  The ^ indicates that you hammer-on the next note.
 
- The fingerpicked opening is based around (what I believe is) a slightly unorthodox G7 chord (capo on second fret
  will make it sound like A7)
 

                 Intro  
 
 G7 Chord            G7
--------         ------------------------------------------------
---6----         ------6---6---6^8--8--6^8--6^8--6^8--6^8--6^8---
---7----         ----7---7---7------7--7-7--7-7--7-7--7-7--7-7---
---5----         ----------------------5-5--5-5--5-5--5-5--5-5---
--------         ------------------------------------------------
--------         ------------------------------------------------
 
- At certain times during the song, you can hear Norman Blake using the same G7 chord to "hammer-on" 
  the 2nd string from the 6th to the 8th fret just like he does in the intro - except a little faster.
 

- When strumming (or picking) the open G chord (with capo on 2nd fret making it sound like A) in the 
  verse after every line Norman is "pulling off" a C note on the 2nd string, 1st fret.  
  A simpler way of putting it is that he's going from Gsus4 to G.

     Gsus4 to G riff

-----3-3--3-3--3-3---
-----1`0--1`0--1`0--- 
-----0-0--0-0--0-0---
-----0-0--0-0--0-0---
-----2-2--2-2--2-2---
-----3-3--3-3--3-3---                          

____________________________________________________________________________________________________


INTRO - G7
 
VERSE
 
 G            F        C               G   (Gsus4 to G riff) G                  F
 
  If I were a carpenter and you were a lady,                 Would you marry me anyway?
 
C                   G  (Gsus4 to G riff)
 
  Would you have my baby?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
CHORUS
 
 F                       G           C                  G       (Gsus4 to G riff)
 
   Save your love through loneliness, Save your love for sorrow,
 
 G                  F        C               G       F     C     G
 
   I'm given you my onliness, Give me your tomorro----w.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
LYRICS
 

Johnny : If I were a carpenter and you were a lady,
         Would you marry me anyway? Would you have my baby?
 
June : If you were a carpenter and I were a lady,
       I'd marry you anyway. I'd have your baby.
 

Johnny : If a tinker was my trade, would I still find you? 
 
June : I'd be carryin' the pots you made, followin' behind you.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
CHORUS together : Save your love through loneliness, Save your love through sorrow,
                  I gave you my onliness, Give me your tomorrow.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
INSTRUMENTAL over Verse - G - F - C - G (2x) & Bridge - C - G (2x)
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Johnny : If I were a miller, at a mill wheel grinding, 
         Would you miss your coloured blouse, and your soft shoes shining?
 
June : If you were a miller, at a mill wheel grinding, 
       I'd not miss my coloured blouse, and my soft shoes shining?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
CHORUS together

------------------------------------------------------------------- 
INSTRUMENTAL over Verse - G - F - C - G (2x) & Bridge - C - G (2x)
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Johnny : If I worked my hands in wood,would you still love me? 
 
June : I'd answer you, "Yes I would"
 
Johnny : And would you not be above me?
 
Johnny : If I were a carpenter, and you were a lady,
 
June: I'd marry you anyway. I'd have your baby.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
CHORUS together
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
INSTRUMENTAL over Verse - G - F - C - G (2x) & Bridge - C - G (2x)
-------------------------------------------------------------------

End - fade  



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